50 Vietnamese Fined For Fishing Illegally In Papua New Guinea Waters

Failure to pay fines will result in jail terms 

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 8, 2017) – Fifty illegal fishermen from Vietnam have been fined more than K1 million [US$311,000] for fishing in PNG Waters.

Two boat operators were also fined K50, 000 [US$15,500] each with 48 crew members fined K20, 000 [US$6,200].

Failure to pay the fines will see the 50 serve a term of four years imprisonment with hard labor in Bomana outside of Port Moresby.

In sentencing the 50, District Court Magistrate John Kaumi said that the verdict handed was a warning to other fishermen who come into PNG waters to fish illegally.

The fishermen had been fishing in PNG waters off Budibidi Island in Milne Bay province on December 22, 2016 when they were apprehended by the PNG Defence Force naval ship HPNGS Seadler.

A total of 77 drums of bechedemer or sea cucumbers were found on board the foreign vessels. Charged individually, all 50 appeared before magistrate Kaumi at the Bomana District Court house last week. Boat operators Nguyen Van Phuc, 34, and Nguyen Van Cu, 40, pleaded guilty to three charges relating to illegal fishing and were convicted earlier this year.

The court found that the two operators without a valid and applicable license had harvested sea cucumber’s.

The 48 crew members were charged with one count of illegal fishing of sea cucumbers under the National Fisheries Management Act of 1998.

The National
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